Friday, 13 March 2009

Nym Words

Don't know your acronyms from your antonyms or your aptronyms from your autonyms? Confused about what tautonyms and toponyms are? You'll find them all here, from homonyms and hypernyms to eponyms and exonyms. We will guide you through explanations of each term, with helpful examples. Never again will you be perplexed by patronyms, confused by contronyms (contranyms), baffled by bacronyms, or stumped by synonyms. You won't muddle meronyms, metonyms, and metronyms, nor heteronyms, hyperonyms, and hyponyms. This is the ultimate guide to the –nym words. So, if you don't know what autoantonyms, capitonyms, and oronyms are, or you want to find out more about paronyms, pseudonyms, and retronyms, read on...

Words ending in –nym are often used to describe different classes of words, and the relationships between words. The –nym literally means name, from the Greek onoma meaning name or word. The Nym Dictionary below defines all the common –nym words, and many of the more unusual ones too.


An abbreviation formed from the initial letters of a series of words; e.g. NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation), NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration).

• From Greek akros (=point, tip).

• Also called protogram, initialism.


Either of a pair of words that have opposite (or near-opposite) meanings; e.g. slow and fast are antonyms of one another, also dead and alive, wife and husband.

• From Greek anti (=against).


A person's name that matches it's owner's occupation or character very well (either in fiction or reality); e.g. arctic explorer Will Snow, hairdresser Dan Druff.

• From apt (=suitable); coined by Franklin P. Adams.

See full list at

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